While there are many hazards encountered in daily driving, dealing with pedestrians can be one of the most unnerving.

In 2015, motor-vehicle-related crashes claimed the lives of 5,376 pedestrians—an increase of 9 percent over the previous year—and injured an estimated 70,000 people.

It is important to know that no one—no driver, bicyclist, or pedestrian—has sole rights to the road. It is a shared space where we all have rights and responsibilities.

Drivers need to know that pedestrians have rights on the road, too, mostly in crosswalks. Drivers should make sure they slow down and are prepared to yield to pedestrians when they’re in a crosswalk. You should never pass other vehicles stopped at a crosswalk, because there is a chance that people crossing that you might not see.

As a pedestrian, you should also follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals, as they are there to protect you. It is important to only cross streets at crosswalks. If you are walking and there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from vehicles as possible. If there isn’t a crosswalk and you need to cross, cross at a well-lit place in the road where drivers can best see you.

In order to avoid an accident always be aware, as both a pedestrian and a driver, of the other people near and on the road.

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